Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ave Maria!
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost—7 August AD 2016

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English


“For if the ministration of condemnation be glory,
much more the ministration of justice aboundeth in glory.”[1]

    One of the difficulties faced by the Apostles was that many of their converts from Judaism insisted that it was still necessary to keep the Mosaic Law, and that converts from paganism had to become Jewish before they could be baptized as Christians.  On some level, their confusion is understandable for part of the Mosaic Law contains the Natural Moral Law—things like “thou shalt not kill,” “thou shalt not steal,” “thou shalt not commit adultery,” and so forth.  The Natural Moral Law is known even without revelation, for human society simply cannot function if people feel free to violate it's precepts.  Our Lord spoke of these things when He said: “I have come not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it; not one not, not one tittle shall pass from the Law until it be fulfilled.”[2]  Surely, that portion of the Mosaic Law that contained the Natural Moral Law had to be retained, and must be followed to this day by all people—Jews, Christians, or whatever.

    But the Mosaic Law prescribed a number of other things—largely ceremonial—that would indeed pass away with the New Covenant that is Christianity.  We no longer observe the kosher food laws, for example.  Baptism has replaced circumcision, and Holy Mass has replaced the animal and cereal sacrifices of the Temple.

    Yet, in today's Epistle, Saint Paul is pointing out that the Mosaic Law contained a list of do's and don'ts that were intended to please God, but which did not make the practitioner of the Law radically holy.  The Old Law was limited to keeping one out of trouble with God—at least for those who carefully followed it.  What Saint Paul calls the “ministration of justice,” might, also be called the “process of justification.”  It is the process by which the soul receives sanctifying grace and becomes holy and pleasing to God.  This “ministration of justice” is far more glorious than the ministration of the Old Covenant, for instead of making the face of one man, Moses, glow with God's  glory,  the soul of every Christian man and woman glows with sanctifying grace.  In the New Covenant Jesus glorifies the Father by making us as we were before the fall of Adam and Eve—the image and likeness of God is restored in the souls of the faithful.  God is glorified by every soul that persists in the state of grace.  The glow of the justified soul may be invisible to us in this life, but it will be clearly seen in Beatific Vision of God in the next life.

    The admonition to “love God with thy whole heart ... and thy neighbor as thy self,” is a capsule summary of the Law that we must observe.  If we love God we will be enthusiastic about worshipping Him, keeping His day holy, and speaking His name only with the reverence it deserves.  Likewise, if we love our neighbor, we will be enthusiastic about avoiding all of those behaviors which make life in society difficult or impossible—those behaviors that keep human society from functioning—the beating, and the cheating, and the lying and the stealing, and so forth.

    Finally, let me point out that the hero in today's  Gospel was chosen by our Lord to make a point.  The Samaritans were considered outcasts and outsiders in Jewish society.  During the captivity of northern Israel in Assyria (734-732 BC & 724-721 BC), the Assyrian king settled foreign people in the territory of Samaria.[3] At first they venerated their foreign gods, so the King sent a Jewish priest to them to learn the veneration of the true God.  By the time of Christ they had done away with the false gods, but claimed a somewhat different set of Scriptures and had set up their own temple at Mount Gerizim, and refused to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.  Today's parable makes a neighbor out of someone who might have been a stranger.  The point being that we must be neighbor even to people who may be very different from ourselves.

    Only if we love God and our neighbor as ourselves can the “ministration of justice” abide in us so that we will one day share glory with God in heaven.  Only if our souls glow with sanctifying grace on earth will they glow with God’s glory in heaven.


[1]   Epistle: 2 Corinthians iii:4-9


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!